BMEN honored by Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and City Council

UAB’s Blazer Male Excellence Network, BMEN, honored by Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and City Council for 15 years of service.
Written by: Wesley Peterson
Media contact: Savannah Koplon

Inside BMEN with WoodfinBirmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin with UAB's BMEN.
Photography: Nicholas Jackson
City of Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and the Birmingham City Council recently recognized the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Blazer Male Excellence Network for displaying excellence to its community, and for the program’s accomplishments and dedication to positively impacting the lives of its participants. A proclamation honoring BMEN’s 15-year anniversary was given from the mayor at the Oct. 4, 2022, City Council meeting.

“Thanks to the diligent work of UAB’s Blazer Male Excellence Network, better known as BMEN, more and more Black men are reaching the finish line of graduation,” Woodfin said. “On behalf of a grateful city, I’m proud of you.”

Woodfin was named an honorary member and received a BMEN lapel pin during the council meeting. BMEN members pledged to serve in the Birmingham City Schools by connecting with students and empowering them to excellence.

Since its inception, the BMEN Peer Mentoring Program has provided its members with guidance and support, helping them navigate the challenges they may face both in and out of the classroom. BMEN’s overall goal is to improve the quality of life for the new student by partnering a returning student with a new student and staff, providing information on navigating the collegiate experience inside and outside the classroom. Furthermore, BMEN aims to enhance the relationship between the university and its students and help increase retention and graduation rates by providing students with the resources to achieve their educational goals.

“The role that BMEN serves in positively impacting the lives of Black men on UAB’s campus is admirable, and we feel fortunate that others in our community are aware of what mentorship is taking place here on campus,” said Sharifa A. Wip, BMEN adviser. “We know that the reach of BMEN extends beyond our nuclear campus, and I am excited about what is in store for BMEN as we look toward continued growth and service in the future.”  

Since 2017, the program has served more than 600 Black men at UAB. The program helps members grow personally, intellectually and professionally, gives them opportunities to become leaders, and encourages them to share and apply new knowledge and information to their mentor and mentee roles. The mentors are selected each spring and go through extensive training to offer the best services possible.